Record breaking success for Edinburgh Festival Fringe


By Christine Lavelle

EDINBURGH’S Festival Fringe ended on a high today (Mon), breaking its own record for ticket scales.

Nearly two million tickets were sold throughout the month-long event in the capital.

Tonight festival staff had estimated their final reconciliation was at 1,955,913 – up on last year’s 1.8 million which had – until now – been its best year yet.

This year’s Fringe featured more performances in more venues across the city than ever before, pulling in visitors from all over the world.

Kath Mainland, chief executive of the Fringe Society, said increased audiences, new venues and a diverse range of award winning shows all contribute towards the festival’s success.

She said: “Edinburgh is without a doubt the world’s leading festival destination and audiences continued to be inspired and enthralled by the many varied events on offer.

“Audiences have come to know the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as the place to see every kind of art – from the most imaginative children’s theatre to topical and incisive comedy and theatre which challenges audiences to discuss and re-consider their world.”

A total of 40,254 performances took place in 259 venues this year – up 5,000 on last year – as well as 662 acts adding to the atmosphere on the High Street.

A number of regular venues also celebrated big anniversaries at the 2010 festival – Gilded Balloon has now been a Fringe venue for 25 years, as well as Assembly, which celebrated 30 years and hosted a cabaret programme at their new venue on Princes Street.

Every year the Fringe attracts big names, and this was no different.

Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills returned for his year-on-year show, as well as appearances from Abi Titmus, Carol Ann Duffy, and Paul Merton, while Radio 4 Comedy broadcasted live from the Royal Mile.

Ms Mainland said: “I have seen and met performers from all over world from established names to those make their first foray into the industry.

“They have attended the Fringe for every possible reason, to make audiences laugh, think and imagine, and to get their work seen and develop their creative skills.

“The Fringe Society exists to support performers, directors, producers and venues and to allow them to make their own creative choices and tell their own stories.

“That every person who has performed as part of the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe over the last three weeks chose to be here is exactly why the Fringe is greatest show on earth.”

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a non-profit organisation, and any money left over from this year’s sales will be kept to help plan next year.